Sunday, July 22, 2012

Weaving My Way Through Morocco: A Talk at the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California

We had a very interesting lecture today delivered by Lynn Dines at the Textile Museum 
Associates of Southern California here in Los Angeles today. Linda Mansouri the president of the society welcomed the guests and made few announcements. The Cheri Hunter, the program chair introduced the speaker. Lynn Dines  has worked in Morocco as a volunteer and served in the Peace Corps from 2008 to 2010. She worked with a cooperative of women weavers to promote their rugs, kilims and textiles.

The Cooperative, Taeawniya Adwal was formed in 2006 to preserve the traditional weaving designs of the Eastern Middle Atlas Region (Beni Ouarain) and to provide needed income to women of Ribat El Kheir. In addition Taeawniya Adwal provides training to weaving apprentices. 

Historically Moroccan carpets were made by Berber tribes, most of which were semi-nomadic. The carpets were typically used as bedding or blankets and were made by the women for their own families. The weaving techniques and designs were passed on thru generations of women. The weaver would draw from the vocabulary of designs particular to her tribe and work at her loom without a diagram or pattern to guide her. As a result, each rug is unique-a combination of both her tribal identity and her artistry. The main design concept of Middle Atlas carpets is based on a diamond grid. These carpets are woven to be adaptable to mountain climates. They typically have a high pile and are loosely knotted to mimic sheepskin to protect against the cold. In warmer climates a lower pile and finer weave is used where such insulation is not necessary. Weaving in Morocco has a very practical function, yet it is also a source of cultural pride for Moroccans.

This well attended program ended with questions and answers. There was also a show and tell section at the end of the talk. I enjoyed the program very much. Our next program will be on five centuries of Kerman carpets. Dr. Taher Sabahi will be the speaker and will present his new book on Kerman rugs. To learn about this by-reservation for the members-only event, please visit

Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
Tel. 310-770-9085
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